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What to buy, when to buy it?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by mabell, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. mabell

    mabell
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    I am looking to buy a projector that I can use mainly for watching football on Sky, XBOX gaming and movies.Ultimately, the main aim is to have a great setup in time for the main event, World Cup 2006, a mere 309 days away!

    I basically need to buy all the major items over time, projector, screen, amp, speakers etc. and will spread the overall budget (up to £2000) accordingly.

    I currently use a Sony 25" (4:3) for all my tv viewing pleasures :eek: . Bought from ebay for £19, it remains the best value purchase of my relatively short independent life. It is however, time to upgrade.

    I have looked at the plasma/lcd option as a main showcase screen, but am not convinced, a. it would be large enough or b. represent the same value for money that a projector does.

    And as a relative newbie (good understanding, little experience), the first question I have is what, of the major items should I buy first?

    Should I opt for an entry level projector setup, and then possibly upgrade my every day TV display OR keep my current TV (current as in I have it, not as in the technology :) ) and then go for a higher specced projector option?

    I am looking to connect the projector to my Sky + box, and my modded XBOX all via an amp I am yet to buy. Displaying hi def would be hi pref (as in highly preferable) but not essential, especially if I opt to upgrade the every day TV. I would imagine with my XBOX gaming and future hi def broadcasting it would make more sense to have hi def on the bigger screen i.e. projector?

    Apologies for the long post, im trying to start from the beginning to make the best possible decisions.

    All advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Bugblatter

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    Well I'm new to projectors myself, but this has been recommended: http://www.ivojo.co.uk/sanyo-plv-z3.htm

    Apparently it offers extremely good value for money, especially with the voucher for a replacement bulb. And it's high-def.

    It would be better to leave the pj as the last thing you buy, as the technology moves a lot faster than speaker technology. Amp technology hasn't changed all that much either, except that they keep trying to increase the number of speakers. But I can understand if you want to buy the pj first, I'd be the same :)
     
  3. PJTX100

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    Z3 is very good value and has a good warranty of 3 yrs. Don't forget to budget for screen (pull down, fixed?) and ceiling bracket if needed (though DIY is possible), and long cables if appropriate. A decent DVD player too if DVDs are in the equation.

    You need to be able to control the light in the room, ie have it as dark as possible. You need to sit approx 1.5 to 2 times the screen width from the screen to get the ideal pic.

    A PJ is more time consuming to set up than say a TV but the results are more than worth it. People are still amazed when they walk into my study and see what is effectively an 83" widescreen TV!

    ...PJ :)
     
  4. mabell

    mabell
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    Thanks for the replies, buying the amp and speakers does seem like the most logical first step.

    Ive already done research on all the projectors within the budget and whilst I was going to go with the Sanyo Z3, im not sure that I can. Ideally, I would like a permanent setup as in put the projector at the back of the room and house the amp etc, close by. The distance between the projector and the screen in this instance would be 4.8metres, which I believe rules out the Z3 as its a short throw projector. I could of course put the projector on the coffee table and have a more temporary setup, but as I said this is not ideal. A ceiling mount is out of the question, I live in rented accomodation and more importantly my girlfriend doesnt like them!

    The other issue I have is with the darkness of the room, ideally I would like some ambient light some of the time, as I dont want to watch the football in complete darkness. How can I achieve this and still have the projector setup I want? I read that the Epson TW10 has a living room function which is more forgiving in terms of ambient light. Do hi def enabled projectors have this function? I have also read about black screen technology, when is this likely to become accessible to the mainstream? Before world cup 2006?

    How much in all honesty does some ambient light detract from picture, say for example having the curtains slighly open on an overcast sunday about 3pm?

    Sorry again for the bombardment of questions.
     
  5. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Pitch black is the best environment but you can get an OK image with a surprising amount of ambient light. Certainly you can get a good pic in enough light to avoid stumbling about in the dark.

    Most technical difficulties can be overcome in terms of siting the PJ, though your girlfriend's opinion may well be the showstopper...PJ :D
     
  6. Siamese Cat

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    Ambient light makes an enormous amount of difference to any projector.

    Some projectors are brighter than others but the very bright ones (at the economy end of the market) tend to have poor contrast, they are designed with Powerpoint in mind rather more than films. So whilst they have enough light to cope with light in the room they don't give the best pictures.

    The main effect of light in the room is that it murders contrast. You can't have a deep black - the blackest possible is the shade of the screen with whatever light there is in the room on it. When this happens the picture looks flat and washed out. The quality of picture that is possible a budget priced projector these days is so astonishing that you'll soon want that quality as often as possible and not want to leave the curtains open

    It's because projectors do need blacked out rooms to deliver at their best that people have another source for viewing when they can't be bothered or it's too inconveient to fire up the projector. You say you've got a 25" Sony Tv, whether or not you'll be satisfied with that as your secondary source only you can say. But a budget of £2000 for a sound system and two new sources is pushing things. If you're convinced that you want a projector (which I would certainly agree with if it was my choice) I'd do that as well as possible accept that it has limitations and use the Sony then. If the thought of having to view in blackout or near blackout is unnaceptable to you then maybe you should be thinking of another source, a plasma perhaps, as your primary source.

    Good luck whichever route you go. If you've never had a projector and you go down this route you will enjoy. They are fantastic, even after having had one for 4 years I'm still amazed that it's possible to have such a fantastic picture at home.
     
  7. mabell

    mabell
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Ive had a chat with my mates and still think a projector is the way to go. Winter is coming up anyway and like most people I work 9 - 5pm so would only get the benefit when it was dark outside anyway! What am I worried about?! I think I just didnt want to sit in darkness the whole time, but on second thoughts, if it becomes an issue, it just means ill have to pay out for an upgrade on my 25" tv too.

    My next major issue is this. I would much prefer a permanent setup. I cannot mount the pj on the ceiling for reasons explaned previously. I also dont want a temporary coffee table setup, so here are the requirements.

    - I need to throw the image 15ft (4.56m approx)
    - The screen cannot exceed an absolute maximum wodth of 6ft (1.82m approx)

    What pj would best acheive a clear sharp image at this distance? The Sanyo Z3 would be my preferred choice because of warranty and price, but the distances involved, I think, do not make this a feasible option. As far as I can tell from me being a total novice, and the calculator on projectorcentral.com, the Panny Ae 700 is the best option. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated bearing in mind the above configuration.

    I also need to know what size screen I can get from this, I really want an optimum setup ideally between 75-100"?

    The more I think about all this the less sleep I get!!
     
  8. mabell

    mabell
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    Just as a note, Id much rather have a smaller projected image (in projector terms) that is pin sharp, than a bigger image of less quality.Size is not important, relatively speaking.
     
  9. MacReady

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    Well I can get this...

    [​IMG]

    ...from a Sanyo Z2 projecting onto an 8ft screen from 13ft away. The picture is extremely sharp and, as PJ has said above, friends are still amazed at the size and quality of the picture when they visit :thumbsup:

    I dont think you will be disapointed in the Z3 (I am thinking about upgrading to this model myself shortly)
     
  10. mabell

    mabell
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    Thanks Cleric, but if I did buy the Z3, could I get say a 96" image from a 15ft throw distance?

    From what I understand, the picture gets bigger the further you have it from the screen, so I guess my question is, can you get a smaller image from 13ft?

    It needs to be 15ft away, and it also cannot project an image bigger than 6ft. Can the Z3 do this?
     
  11. Bugblatter

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    From http://www.projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv-z3.htm

    "With a throw distance of 10 to 13 feet to achieve a 100" diagonal image, most users will need to opt for either coffee table mounting or ceiling mounting. Rear wall shelf mounting will work in some cases as well, but the rooms that will accommodate this are relatively few as a percentage of the total.

    For example, if you wish to set up a 100" screen and have a viewing distance of 1.5 times the screen width, you will be sitting about eleven feet from the screen. The projector (measured from the front of the lens) must be at least 10 feet and no more than 13 feet from the screen—in other words, right in your seating area. Therefore, your options are (a) set the projector on a table between the viewing chairs, (b) put it on an independent stand immediately behind the seating area, (c) ceiling mount it above the seating area, or if the room is just the right size, (d) put it on a shelf on a rear wall immediately behind the seating area."

    Hopefully that'll help :)
     
  12. mabell

    mabell
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    Thanks Bugblatter, it does help out in that it seems to rule out the Z3. Unfortunately, my preferred configuration is a rear wall shelf mounting, which will be 15 feet from the screen, outside of the quoted 10 - 13 feet range.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions of a similar pj that can cope with slightly longer throw distances and allow me to set this up as desired?
     
  13. Bugblatter

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